ASTRONOMY 101: SOLAR SYSTEM and ASTRONOMY BASICS
Registration ($75) opens in early August.
THIS IS WHERE ASTRONOMY STUDIES BEGIN!
A survey of astronomy. Introduces celestial events that ancients knew well that we can also observe and presents their modern explanations. Themes include the hierarchy of astronomy objects, distances in space, motions of the Earth and moon, the sun, stars and constellations, the Zodiac, the planets and other objects in the Solar System, the reason for the seasons. We’ll sketch the historical figures of western astronomy and the physics underlying orbits.
Wednesdays, 7 PM. Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28; Oct. 12, 19 via Zoom. [Note Oct. 5 is skipped.]
Registrants receive the web links the Google Classroom (GC) which is used for downloads and messaging, and which will contain the needed link for the Zoom meetings.
Our instructor is Irene Pease. Irene helped acquaint the public with the night sky and universe as Brooklyn’s Friendly Neighborhood Astronomer. She has hosted livestreams on astronomy topics and created short visualizations. Irene produced for the Hayden Planetarium video blog, Skylight, presented and co-hosted Astronomy on Tap NYC , and the Astronomy Live series. She has been a CUNY and secondary school teacher. Many AAA members know Irene as a club officer, a frequent instructor, and former co-host of AAA Sky, our podcast.
September 7 – Our Place in Space
What can we deduce about the local universe by simply looking up? Consider the apparent motions of other solar system objects, mapping the sky, and our use of celestial motion for time-keeping; celestial sphere, the ecliptic, zodiacal constellations and others.
September 14 – Some History and Physics of Planetary Motion
The theories of planetary motion, Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion, Newton’s Law of Gravitation, conics, and parallax.
September 21 – Seasons & Scales of the Solar System
What is the reason for Earth’s seasons? Axial tilt, the solar constant and Earth’s energy budget, precession, solstices and equinoxes. An overview of the contents of the solar system and relative sizes and distances for the planets.
September 28 – The Sun & the Moon
A tour through the Moon’s phases, discussion of its formation and features, basics of solar observing; eclipses, transits, tides, lunar features, solar features.
October 12 – Other Worlds of the Solar System
Comparing terrestrial planets and the giant planets; densities, atmospheres, satellites, rings, frost line, minor bodies.
October 19 – Exploration
Where are we heading next in the solar system? A survey of current and upcoming missions, what we’ve learned and what we’re looking for. Missions include Voyager, New Horizons, Parker, Lucy, and Europa Clipper.
Early 2023, “Astronomy 102: Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos.”- a sequel to this class.